Solar Panel Nanotechnology

Colored Solar Panels Don't Need Direct Sunlight

solar panels, solar cells, photovoltaics, silicon, colored solar panels, nanotechnology, nanoparticles, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, GreenSun Energy, GreenSunWith normal solar cells, you need direct sunlight for them to generate power, and if the panels are at all shaded the efficiency drops significantly. A new type of solar cell, being developed in Jerusalem, is making huge waves because it can generate power from diffuse light using a specialized colored panel. They look a bit like colored plexi-glass but are actually panes made with fluorescent dyes and nanoparticle metals, and could possibly eclipse traditional solar panels in terms of price.

The smarter panel is being developed by GreenSun Energy, a Tel Aviv-based energy start-up. The new solar panels also use 80% less silicon than traditional solar cells. As the direct or indirect sunlight hits the panels, it diffuses across and the nanoparticles of metal direct and concentrate the sunlight to the edges where the silicon is.

So far, GreenSun has achieved a 12% efficiency rate with their panels and can produce them for $2.10/W compared to around $4.54/W for a conventional panel. They can achieve such lower costs because they use so much less silicon. Also in normal cells, there is some efficiency loss due to heat, which cannot be converted into energy. With GreenSun’s panels, the sunlight is diffused over the whole panel and the nanoparticles deliver light at the right energy to the edges where it can be converted, which means less efficiency loss due to heat.

GreenSun is still working hard on making their panels more efficient – 12% is good, but it’s not great compared to the world’s most efficient solar cell at 43%. They hope to achieve an efficiency of 20% and reduce the cost even further to $0.94/W. For those with aesthetic interests in the look of solar cells, these might be right up your alley. Imagine all the amazing designs that could be created from colored panels on the sides and tops of buildings.

80% Efficient Solar Panel?! Works at Night?!

by Candidus

The most expensive, carefully designed, and complicated solar panels in the world operate at about 40% efficiency. That means that, for every bit of sunlight that hits the panel, only 40% of it is turned into electricity.
Scientists think that this is just about as good as silicon panels can do and are now looking at ways to make it cheaper, instead of making them more efficient. But suddenly, from nowhere, comes Steven Novack of the Idaho National Laboratories with an inexpensive, foldable solar panel that may turn out to be up to 80% efficient.
The trick is nanotechnology

Actually electic vehicles will make commuting

by BillCutting

Extremely inexpensive.
Many EVs are already available with batteries that will travel 80-100 miles without a charge and the cars can exceed the speed limit and accelerate far better than gas.
Experts in nanotechnology theorize a solar panel efficient enough that it could meet our current energy needs with only 3% of the worlds resources. Sorry I don't have links, I can find them if anyone is actually interested.

Nanotubes Increase Solar PV Conductivity 100 Million-Fold  — Sourceable
Carbon-based nanostructures are already being used as materials in solar cells with increasing frequency, yet their ability to enhance electrical performance has thus far been hampered by limited ability to assemble orderly networks using the materials.

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